June 22, 2014
LED candles not radical enough for you? How about some revolutionary chic in the form of an LED molotov cocktail! Let’s call this number two in my series of bad ideas sure to draw the attention of the local constabulary, the first being the screwdriver key that lets you “steal” your own car. Read on and learn how to make your own.
First we need an empty bottle. I can make that happen.
Hiccup. Nexsht we ned a LED candllllllllllle. No. Nex we needs… Next we need a nap.
OK, back again. We’re going to take apart some LED candles, because we want multiple “flames” flickering in our wick. I could have bought just the LEDs for a lot less, but these candles included a flame-shaped diffuser, battery holder, and switch in each one, though I’d only need one of the switch and battery holder.
The battery holder had to be the same size as the bottle’s cap, so I traced around the cap onto the base of the candle, ensuring that the battery holder was completely enclosed in the circle.
I used 3 candle flames, wired them in parallel (two LEDs soldered to each other, the third on a length of wire), and then ran it to a switch and the battery holder.
The next step was to make a holder for the electronics package. I rolled a piece of cardboard from a cereal box around the bottle’s cap, cut a hole for the switch, then taped it together, added a length of fabric as a wick, and wrapped it in even more tape.
I wanted it to look like that wick ran all the way through the neck of the bottle, but didn’t want any liquid spilling. I hot-glued the end of another length of fabric to the inside of the cap. Then I filled the bottle with water, added some food coloring so it was more visible, and screwed the cap on.
Once the cap was tightened down and the bottle dried off, I slid the cap cover with the electronics down over the top.
Voila! A tasteful home lighting solution for the energy-conscious anarchist and revolutionary!
Or put a bandana over your face, turn on the LEDs, and head out into the streets to show everyone how crafty you are! What could go wrong?
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February 17, 2016
First created in 1860, the Erlenmeyer flask has come to symbolize chemistry, and by extension science as a whole. I wanted to use that symbol to create an item of functional decor, and what better for that than a lamp, with the relationship between the light bulb and the “aha!” of an idea?
February 04, 2016
For over a decade I’ve had kicking around in my garage’s attic the cases from a couple of old original-style Macintoshes, waiting for just the right project.
One day, after staring at them stacked in my office, I realized that they had a similar form factor to the classic bullet-top garbage cans with the swinging lid. I could give one of these a new (slightly unceremonious) life as a garbage can!
January 20, 2015
I’ve been going through a moon phase recently (pun absolutely intended), and thought it would be fun to make a wearable or totable that displayed the current state of the moon. There would be a bit of hardware involved, so a purse seemed like the perfect vehicle—you’re already carrying a load of other things, so there’s no harm in the addition of a small battery pack or a pile of LEDs.